Hockey Alberta has been overseeing amateur hockey in this province for almost as long as Alberta has been a province. The organization serves young players and adult leagues, as well as their coaches, referees, officials and supporters.
In 2014, the organization came to RedPoint seeking help with the magazine it publishes to promote its programs and services. It wanted a magazine that was a bit more friendly and a bit more polished, and could get across all the essential factual information while promoting the game of hockey as an inclusive, grassroots family sport. In short, Hockey Alberta needed a magazine that was more lifestyle-focused.
Here are three decisions our team made to create the new Hockey Alberta publication, Home Icemagazine.
1. Get personal
While previously the Hockey Alberta publication had been used to communicate factual data like schedules, programs and player-improvement tips, the new magazine would also explore the emotional connection Albertans have to hockey and the reasons they have for getting involved.Home Ice takes an insider’s perspective on amateur hockey and speaks with a friendly, inclusive voice, whether profiling people involved with the sport or detailing program information.
“Most people who run amateur hockey in the province are volunteers,” says managing editor Miles Durrie. “We wanted to explore their motivations and draw out the reasons why people do what they do around hockey.”
Aimed at those involved with amateur hockey, the magazine needed to express Hockey Alberta’s grassroots spirit while offering inspiration to young, ambitious players and their supporters. Many involved at the amateur level are fans of professional players or aspire to be in the NHL, so the magazine includes an interview with NHL Carolina Hurricanes head coach Bill Peters — a professional who developed his passion for the sport as an Alberta farm kid.
“We thought it was important to profile someone working at the highest levels of the sport, who came up through the ranks of hockey right here in Alberta,” Durrie says.
3. Be friendly
The magazine’s design and photography reflect its editorial focus on inclusivity and accessibility. A story about concussions — important information for anyone involved with the sport — grabs attention and facilitates comprehension because it’s treated as an infographic. Photography is colourful, informal and action-focused, helping readers engage with the experience, and the cover features three Atom-age players, laced up and ready to play.
“It’s more about people,” Durrie says. “The essential factual content is all there, but in the context of the people and their motivations.”
To make a successful lifestyle magazine, its essential to have a brand that truly touches people’s hearts. Hockey Alberta’s grassroots work and its century-old support for the game of hockey made it a simple matter for the RedPoint team to create a publication that is warm, accessible and passionate about its subject matter. Says Durrie: “It’s not about winning or perfecting things or making it to the professional level. It’s about playing hockey because hockey is a really awesome game.”